Finally, though, we sighed with relief and abandoned the buckets and bottles of water we’d filled and had been using in the meantime, and almost immediately forgot we’d been without water – until it happened again. No, the pipe didn’t burst. But for some mysterious reason, which is still being investigated, there is now an either/or situation. Either the top four floors have water pressure and hence water, or the bottom four do. But not all eight floors together, or at least not all of the time. This means that at any given time, we find ourselves without water. Last night the situation almost came to blows because people have learned where the controls are and close off the taps for the floors that have water so that they can enjoy it instead.
And so the situation continues… At this point, I should launch into a serious discussion on how spoilt we are, how we take basics such as water for granted when almost one billion (one in nine) people in the world lack access to clean water and 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes, 99 percent in the developing world (water.org). And indeed, I did point out – sarcastically – to my husband that we might as well move to Africa, where living costs would at least be cheaper. But it does set one thinking: imagine living with the uncertainty of continual water shortages and failures, and perhaps having to walk several miles to a well every day to get fresh water – women's work, of course! We at least have the luxury – hopefully – of getting the problem repaired, and failing that, moving house altogether.